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Diners' Choice: Neighborhood gem restaurants in Raleigh / Durham / Chapel Hill

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OpenTable
Updated June 05, 2024

Looking for the best restaurants that are the best neighborhood gems in Raleigh / Durham / Chapel Hill? You’re in the right place. Each month, OpenTable analyzes nearly 2 million global diner reviews from the past four months. We sort the results by location and category to help you discover new favorite restaurants. It's a great partnership: you reserve, eat, and review. We listen...and deliver the results for all to benefit. Enjoy!

A photo of On The Square restaurant
4.9
4.9 (1280)
$30 and under
Contemporary American
Tarboro
About the restaurant
Due to limited seating, we are only accepting in-house reservations. Please call the restaurant directly for a reservation.

Located in Historic Downtown Tarboro, one of the oldest towns in North Carolina, On the Square Restaurant offers seasonal, sustainable ingredients that are celebrated throughout the ever-changing menu. Open for dinner on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings and for lunch on Monday through Friday, we are as proud of our food and comfortable atmosphere as we are of our eclectic and value-driven wine list.
Top review
ShariRvip
Dined on Jun 8, 2024
I love this restaurant! Everyone is so kind and attentive! We had the fresh fettuccine with ragu sauce and pork belly, beef, mozzarella and crushed garlic bread. It was off the charts good! I only ate half to ensure I’d have leftovers the next day! Please bring it back for a regular appearance
A photo of Trophy Brewing & Pizza restaurant
4.8
4.8 (260)
$30 and under
Pizzeria
Raleigh
About the restaurant
A brewery and full service restaurant serving hand-made pizza and more in Downtown Raleigh. We feature Detroit style pizza on Mondays and Tuesdays from 4pm until they sellout, and calzones on Wednesdays. We have a full bar featuring inventive cocktails, great wine, cider, non-alcoholic options, and more!

We have several areas for private events and larger gatherings. Reach out to our events team for details: Events@trophybrewing.com
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined on Jun 7, 2024
We ordered the Brussel sprouts and 2 pizzas. The brussel sprouts were very good but we never got the pizzas. Apparently the kitchen was slammed and after about 20-25 minutes of not getting our pizzas we asked how long the wait would be and they had no idea how long it would be. So we decided to leave. The restaurant did not charge us for the brussel sprouts which was nice but we were really looking forward to the pizza. Not sure if we’ll go back. The pizza could be the best pizza ever but what good does that do me if they can get it to me. Maybe we’ll go back one day when it’s not so busy.
A photo of Bella Monica restaurant
4.7
4.7 (3526)
$30 and under
Italian
Raleigh
About the restaurant
Benvenuto! Opened August 2000, chef/ owner Corbett Monica and his wife, Julie, created this trattoria as an extension of his Nanas dinner table. A place where the neighborhood gathers to dine and enjoy life. Guests become family at our tables, enjoying recipes handed down from our grandparents. Following tradition, we make our sauce with San Marzano tomatoes and use only the freshest ingredients available, just like Nana. Our gravy is so good that we eat it like soup! Neapolitan menu, thin-crust Flatbread pizzas, Pasta, NC Seafood, Chicken, Local Pork. Without a doubt, the best cannoli you will ever taste! Our wine list features all Italian, hard-to-find selections that are a perfect match for our Pasta and Flatbreads. Wine Spectator 2007-2019. Local art is on our walls and we play a great upbeat music mix. We welcome you to our business, our culture, our family. It is an honor and pleasure to cook for you. Please enjoy our food and the company you share at our table. Mangia bene!
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 1 day ago
Delicious food good service you better have a reservation very busy.
A photo of Maximillians Grill & Wine Bar restaurant
4.7
4.7 (911)
$31 to $50
Contemporary American
Cary
About the restaurant
Maximillians Grill & Wine Bar has been serving Cary & the Triangle since 1991. Owned and operated by Will & Margie Hennessee, Maximillians offers global cuisine using locally sourced, seasonal ingredients. Offering over 15 wines by the glass in addition to an extensive bottle list, or enjoy one of our hand crafted cocktails or local draft beers. We hope you will join us, and if it is your first visit, it won't be your last! Cheers!
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined on May 25, 2024
We sat outside Enjoyed a bottle of wine Had them split a salad for us. The main courses we chose was superb. We will definitely return again.
A photo of Carolina Brewery - Pittsboro restaurant
4.7
4.7 (86)
$30 and under
Southern
Chapel Hill
About the restaurant
Carolina Brewery is a brewpub located in Pittsboro, North Carolina that specializes in serving craft beers and American pub fare. The restaurant features a lively atmosphere with a full bar, patio and numerous televisions broadcasting sporting events. Carolina Brewery in Pittsboro serves lunch and dinner daily and offers a variety of menu items made using fresh, in season fruits and vegetables and locally raised beef. The restaurant offers an extensive menu of starters, soups, salads, sandwiches, burgers, typical pub fare and desserts. Featured entrées at Carolina Brewery in Pittsboro include chicken mac and cheese, down East BBQ plate, crab cakes, shrimp and grits and fish and chips.
Top review
MeagB
Dined 5 days ago
Great food! Loved sitting outside in the shade! Service was great!
A photo of Five Star Restaurant restaurant
4.7
4.7 (11)
$30 and under
Asian
Raleigh
About the restaurant
For Parties of 11 or more, please fill out our large party form here:
https://www.fivestarraleigh.com/private-events-inquiry/
Five Star Restaurant has been honoring our Chinese roots since the year 2000. We aim to serve fresh, modern takes on Chinese and Asian Cuisine. Some of our most popular dishes are the Five Star Generals Chicken, Crispy Sesame Beef, and Heat Seeker Shrimp. Our kitchen can accommodate gluten free, vegetarian, and vegan diets on most of our dishes. We also have a constantly evolving Wine, Beer, and seasonal cocktail list. We proudly feature DJ’s every week, Wednesday- Sunday. Our DJ booth has been fortunate enough to host many world-renowned DJs and entertainers over the years — you never know who you might see spinning at Five Star Restaurant.


Top review
OpenTable Dinervip
Dined 1 day ago
Excellent as always!!
A photo of MOFU Shoppe restaurant
4.7
4.7 (643)
$30 and under
Asian
Raleigh
About the restaurant
Nestled in the historic City Market neighborhood of downtown Raleigh, MOFU Shoppe brings you the flavors of Asia with the comfort of southern hospitality. Our dishes are inspired by our identity as Taiwanese Americans who grew up in the South around a multitude of diverse food cultures. Born out of the Food Network award winning Pho Nomenal Dumpling Truck, we have come a long way and can't wait to see you in soon.

Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 1 day ago
What a great dinner! The staff were super friendly and helpful, from the bartender to the hostess to the waitstaff. The food is great with amazing vegetarian options. The cocktails are delicious and they even have mocktails. Go here for a fun date night that feels special without breaking the bank.
A photo of J. Betski's restaurant
4.7
4.7 (46)
$31 to $50
Contemporary European
Raleigh
About the restaurant
Relaxed, casual, lively location serving Contemporary East & Central influenced European Cuisine; featuring a hybrid service system (with additional server assistance available) and located on the edge of the Five Points neighborhood in Raleigh, NC. We use the highest quality seafood, meats, poultry and local produce for our menu of small and mid size plates, providing you a unique and memorable flavor experience. Enjoy one of our expertly created craft cocktails, or order from our list of wines or extensive selection of high quality European and local Beers.
Top review
CathouseGirlvip
Dined on Jun 8, 2024
Delicious food, wonderful outdoor covered patio, excellent service! This is our favorite place in Raleigh!
A photo of Mandolin restaurant
4.5
4.5 (2731)
$30 and under
Southern
Raleigh
About the restaurant
Mandolin is a breath of fresh air to the Raleigh dining scene, combining a casual atmosphere with fresh, contemporary, Southern fare. Mandolin uses the highest quality local ingredients to create seasonal menus that resonate with foodies and casual diners, alike. We share our food in a relaxed, cozy atmosphere that replaces the stuffiness of fine-dining with Southern charm. The menu and ambiance reflect the character of Raleigh itself- a blend of rustic and refined, contemporary and traditional, rural and metropolitan. Mandolin, like the City of Oaks, is Southern at its roots, but draws influences from around the world. We love our new home in Hayes Barton, just a stone's throw from Five Points, on the corner of Oberlin and Fairview.
Top review
Eamonnvip
Dined 7 days ago
We have dined here a few times. Fresh ingredients...with outstanding prep and service.
A photo of Parkside Restaurant restaurant
4.3
4.3 (107)
$30 and under
American
Wendell
About the restaurant
Welcome to Parkside Restaurant in Wendell! We are so glad you can join us at our new location in beautiful Treelight Square, Wendell Falls. We have worked hard on this new iteration of Parkside and have tried to encapsulate everything that is well loved from our Downtown Raleigh restaurant to bring here to you. Locally owned and operated, Parkside is the cornerstone of comfort and fresh food. You will find a relaxing place to enjoy an evening in one of our cozy booths or a gathering place for your friends and family to celebrate special occasions in our spacious dining room or semi private dining. At the center of our gorgeous restaurant, you will find our marble bar boasting a large selection of draft beers, wines, and top shelf whiskeys.

We strive to provide top notch service day and night, whether you're in for a quick lunch or night out. You can also find us on Doordash and Toast TakeOut via our website.

We are so excited to be part of the Wendell Falls community!

919-374-7162
Top review
JohnH
Dined on Jun 8, 2024
The only complaint about the food is as the prime rib was warmed up on a flat top and was still cool. The service was great except for there doesn’t appear to have a dress code for the servers
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